Compact Digital Camera

papasmurf85

Standard Member
Hello!

I've spent approximately the last two weeks trying to decide what compact digital camera I'm going to take backpacking with me, it's finally started to wear me down and drive me crazy! So many good/bad reviews for each camera.

I'm looking for a camera with good picture quality, a wide angle lens (for some nice landscape pics!), Optical Image Stabilisation and it has to be pocket sized.

Firstly does anybody know the difference between a Panasonic Lumix FX35 and a Panasonic Lumix FS5? Apart from the hand grip on the side I can't really see any......but surely panasonic wouldn't make two identical cameras?

I've also read that the above mentioned Panasonic Lumix's are poor in low light conditions. Could somebody please shed some light (pun not intended) on this for me? For everyday use, e.g. a photo of me and some friends in the hostel, or pics in a nightclub, would this be noticeable? Or is this only if you're trying to blow the pictures up?

If anbody can suggest another pocket sized camera, with OIS and a wide angle lense, please let me know. But keep it below £200 please!

Would really appreciate some help, thanks.
 

Pirate!!

Banned
Hello!

I've spent approximately the last two weeks trying to decide what compact digital camera I'm going to take backpacking with me, it's finally started to wear me down and drive me crazy! So many good/bad reviews for each camera.

I'm looking for a camera with good picture quality, a wide angle lens (for some nice landscape pics!), Optical Image Stabilisation and it has to be pocket sized.

Firstly does anybody know the difference between a Panasonic Lumix FX35 and a Panasonic Lumix FS5? Apart from the hand grip on the side I can't really see any......but surely panasonic wouldn't make two identical cameras?

I've also read that the above mentioned Panasonic Lumix's are poor in low light conditions. Could somebody please shed some light (pun not intended) on this for me? For everyday use, e.g. a photo of me and some friends in the hostel, or pics in a nightclub, would this be noticeable? Or is this only if you're trying to blow the pictures up?

If anbody can suggest another pocket sized camera, with OIS and a wide angle lense, please let me know. But keep it below £200 please!

Would really appreciate some help, thanks.
Panasonic DMC-TZ5
 

Pirate!!

Banned
Thanks for your response Pirate! I've looked at the TZ5 and if I wasn't going to be carrying it around in my pocket everyday I'd buy it. It's just a little too big .......
OK then. I had a quick scan. This baby looks like the bogs dollox in terms of image quality, price and features:

Canon IXUS 800 IS. Reviews look most impressive.

You're not going to get dSLR spec/features in a compact, so make a mental note of what you need. Image quality (IQ) is all important. This Canon has IS and 4x optical zoom. £200 is borderline entry-level dSLR territory.

Pocket cams are not my forte.

Also consider Fuji F11. It's a minefield of choices.
 

spursmat

Novice Member
Hey, I've been looking at the same Panasonic cameras for the last couple of weeks also! They both seem to get great reviews although there seems to be a couple which really don't rate them, however these seem to be from lesser websites which may not know what they are talking about. From what I have read most compact cameras suffer slightly at lower light ISO settings due to the small sensors (even in the slightly larger models), and that the Panasonic is not decidely worst than any of the other brands. Also the Panasonic's electronics have a feature that allow you to set the max ISO while still letting the camera chose the final one, if you are that concerned. As for the FX35 vs the FS5 the only obvious difference is the lens (25-100) as apposed to (30 - 120). They certainly share the same electronics as far as I am aware. I am just guessing but maybe the FX is slightly better built being an FX range as apposed to an FS range, but the main difference is about £40 in price! But certainly the major reviews suggest that both cameras are indeed excelent, and there's not really much else out there that can match them, price, permance and quality wise. The Pansonic's seem to be a decent all round option.

Here are some reviews that I have found on the FX35:
http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=3389&review=panasonic+lumix+fx35
http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC-FX35_FX36/
http://www.cameras.co.uk/reviews/panasonic-dmc-fx35.cfm
http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/digitalcameras/0,39030232,49296868,00.htm
http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fx35-review/index.shtml

And the FS5:
http://www.cameras.co.uk/reviews/panasonic-dmc-fs5.cfm
http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2008/03/03/Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-FS5/p1
http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/equipment/review/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC-FS5_11701.php

The older FX33 gets an excelent 91% in WhatDigitalCamera, and technically not much has changed in the FX35.
 

papasmurf85

Standard Member
Thank you both very much for your help! I'll be sure to read the reviews you have provided. The panasonic's and canon's are certainly top of my list at the moment.

Spursmat, let me know what you finally go for!
 

spursmat

Novice Member
Thank you both very much for your help! I'll be sure to read the reviews you have provided. The panasonic's and canon's are certainly top of my list at the moment.

Spursmat, let me know what you finally go for!
No problems! Haha I was hoping you would take the plunge first but I'll be sure to let you know when I do! I'm going to Wembley next week so may try and get one before then. I have been looking at the Canon's too but I'm not sure if it is that much better to warrant the price, however the lack of a wider angle lens probably rules them out for me. The Fuji F100Fd also seems a decent camera within the budget, although they recently reviewed it on the Gadget Show on Channel 5 and it lost out because of fiddly controls. Funnily enough the winner was a Panasonic!
 

papasmurf85

Standard Member
No problems! Haha I was hoping you would take the plunge first but I'll be sure to let you know when I do! I'm going to Wembley next week so may try and get one before then. I have been looking at the Canon's too but I'm not sure if it is that much better to warrant the price, however the lack of a wider angle lens probably rules them out for me. The Fuji F100Fd also seems a decent camera within the budget, although they recently reviewed it on the Gadget Show on Channel 5 and it lost out because of fiddly controls. Funnily enough the winner was a Panasonic!
Play off final? Which one you off too? The new wembley is phenomenal, saw England v Germany. You could certainly get some great photos with a wide angle lense!
 

spursmat

Novice Member
Play off final? Which one you off too? The new wembley is phenomenal, saw England v Germany. You could certainly get some great photos with a wide angle lense!
England v USA actually! :) Yeah I went to the Germany game too, mobile phone camera took some fairly nice shots but as you say the wide angle would give some great shots! It's either the FX35 with the wider lens, or the FS5 still with a wide lens but longer telephoto! Would love the 10x zoom on the TX models but they're simply not small enough to take with you in a pocket. Oh decisions!
 

papasmurf85

Standard Member
All this mention of "noise".....Is that only an issue if you're zooming into photos or printing off massive poster size prints?

As far as everyday use goes, indoor photos will look good on a PC screen or standard sized prints right?

I'm on the verge of buying it!
 

spursmat

Novice Member
Yeah as far as I know you need to have the picture at 100% zoom to look for noise on "normal" pictures, and even then unless you know what your looking for I doubt most of us could tell the difference. Also remember when you go to 100% size on a 10mp file this is HUGE! Which one you thinking about going for?
 

papasmurf85

Standard Member
Yeah as far as I know you need to have the picture at 100% zoom to look for noise on "normal" pictures, and even then unless you know what your looking for I doubt most of us could tell the difference. Also remember when you go to 100% size on a 10mp file this is HUGE! Which one you thinking about going for?
I'm gonna go for the FX35 today.....I think..

I know it's only a small difference but the 25mm lens has sold it for me. Backpacking around Italy, will be nice to fit the whole colloseum in from up close!
 

spursmat

Novice Member
I think your making an excelent choice! After reading more reviews of the these cameras, and other cameras I don't think the noise issue is that much of an issue, it's something that affects pretty much all the brands and the difference between them probably isn't something that will be a problem in real life situations. Im torn between the FX35 and the FS5 because I would like the extra 20mm on the Telephoto end. Ah!
 

papasmurf85

Standard Member
Right I've been ignoring this because I'm not too sure what difference it makes....What difference does the extra 20mm on the telephoto end make?

I hope this doesn't change my mind!
 

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